25 January, 2011

a means to an end

The whole meaning of prayer is that we may know God. - Oswald Chambers

(photo by PS)

How much do I believe this? How much does my life demonstrate that I believe it to be true?
The statement moves me. It convicts me. I agree with it completely but I don't think I always remember or embrace it's meaning. Most believers, including myself, often use prayer as a means to an end but not the end He intends. We want something so we ask. We need help so we pray. But where I want to fall is with those who pray for want of one thing - Yahweh himself. David heralded his own cry to know God in Psalm 27 when he said,

One thing have I asked of YAHWEH, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of YAHWEH all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of YAHWEH and to inquire in his temple." (vs 4 - ESV).

This is my desire - to know the only true God, and Jesus the Messiah, whom He sent (Jn 17:3). We will know great peace and deep satisfaction as we seek God for God while not failing to make known our requests to Him with petition and thanksgiving (Phil 4:6).

22 January, 2011

family park 'n' rec

We spent part of our afternoon - after the epic donut run - at the "boat park". It seemed fitting that we be outside with not more than long sleeves during this unusual winter warm spell. I think it helped that they were also able blow off the sugar high. And if I may speak for my boys, they had a great time. Well, their expressions don't necessarily tell it that way but it's true. They did.

mmm donuts

Yep. Custardy, joy-filled, yummy goodness. So big and messy you have to eat 'em with a fork. I felt a bit sick afterward but it was worth every tasty bite. I love donuts. The End.

21 January, 2011

Waiting is difficult

A friend sent me a text last night and as I read it the Spirit spoke to me. I knew this was not an ordinary text without much behind it. I later confirmed that my friend was moved by God – while in the market no less – to communicate a message to me. The essence of the message was "remember Joseph who did not give up hope in the face of opposition and lack of fruition of his dreams. God is with you and making you more like himself as you wait on him."

Proverbs says that hope deferred makes the heart sick (13:12). I have been asking God and waiting on Him for fulfillment of some deep desires for years now and my heart has often felt sick during this wait. These past four years have been particularly hard but I know my God and he tells me that as I trust him with everything, literally delighting in him, he can then trust me with the desires in my heart (Psalm 37:3-7). In pondering the concept of ‘waiting’ found in that passage I discovered an excerpt from Dallas Willard’s book, The Divine Conspiracy, to be not only accurate but also as if he wrote it specifically for me.

“Prayer as kingdom praying is an arrangement explicitly instituted by God in order that we as individuals may count, and count for much, as we learn step by step how to govern, to reign with him in his kingdom. To enter and to learn this reign is what gives the individual life its intended significance. This high calling also explains why prayer frequently requires much effort, continuous effort, and on some matters possibly years and years of effort. Prayer is, above all, a means of forming character. It combines freedom and power with service and love. What God gets out of our lives – and, indeed, what we get out of our lives – is simply the person we become. It is God’s intention that we should grow into the kind of person he could empower to do what we want to do. Then we are ready to “reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 22:5).

And a major element in this training is experience in waiting for God to move, not leaping ahead and taking things into our own hands. Out of this waiting experience there comes a form of character that is priceless before God, a character that can be empowered to do as one chooses. This explains why James says that patience in trials will make us “fully functional” (teleion), “perfect” (1:4).”

I suppose my countenance should be like that of my baby boy here in this photo. I love when my kids look at me like this. May the King of all glory bless us as we wait on him with expectancy and delight.

(photo by PSchrock)